There are various arts professionals, including curators, art consultants and producers, involved in arts projects for the public realm. They may work on their own projects as well as with a client. A specialist can also be useful from an artist’s perspective, for example, for those with less experience of working in the public realm.

Curators and consultants are not only experts, but often act as the ‘go-between’, working for the project, liaising between an artist and the client, an artist and a community, to support and nurture its development. The project management role is pivotal when working with artists, as it ensures good communication between all parties and ensures the project runs smoothly, to budget and on schedule. The kinds of skills a professional curator can offer include:

  • Developing a plan or an approach
  • Researching the project’s scope
  • Writing artists’ briefs
  • Drafting contracts
  • Identifying artists
  • Working with the artist to develop ideas
  • Organising the project’s logistics

When selecting curators and consultants, you’ll want to think about the scope of the project and their involvement, the kind of experience and track record you’re interested in. You may want to invite a number to interview and to respond to a short brief outlining the role. It can be useful to gather references and talk to other commissioners they’ve worked with. Also, visiting projects and sites can be a good way to judge their involvement. For more information, go to links.